Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

Welcome back to the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge!  Today we are sharing about faithfulness.  Please try to join us tomorrow morning, Thursday at 8:30 for our Facebook discussion of this week’s topic.  

In case you missed it, last week we talked about goodness!

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about FAITHFULNESS!  

SCRIPTURE:

Proverbs 19:21
21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s plan that will stand.


DEFINITION OF FAITHFULNESS:
1: strict or thorough in the performance of duty
2: true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.
3steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends
4: reliable, trusted, or believed


REFLECTION:
Faithfulness looks very much like loyalty wrapped in trust.  When we are faithful to God and trust him, we are free to live our lives with less weight and stress.  We are free to show up as our true selves.  Rhonda and I have circled back to this scripture in Proverbs countless times. When we: 

  • try to create our own solutions only to feel stuck
  • realize we are forcing our will over His
  • strive to fit timelines on our own time tables

Not being in control is such a hard feeling. We like the idea that if we can just find the right rythm and stay on the beat, everything will run as smooth as a symphony orchestra. When one instrument goes down though, everything sounds off and we feel compelled to scramble and find the fix or create the solution: tune the instrument, replace the chord, tighten the bow.

We’ve learned that our solutions are not the same as His solutions.  Our solutions often amplify the problem or cause us additional stress.  Being faithful as a Christian is allowing God to assure us of what we do not see.  It is trusting him to share his plan with us when he sees that we are ready.  Faithfulness requires us to do the hardest thing: submit.

There are countless Biblical stories of God blessing those who are faithful.  Ruth could have gone off on her own to create a new life after the death of her husband, but she chose to remain with Naomi. Sarah and Abraham had Isaac when Sarah was very, very old – after decades of not having a child.  Arrested and thrown into a lion’s den for praying, Daniel emerged unscathed.  In all of these instances, God rewarded faithful people.  

One of the hardest things for me to hear in the age of corona is that we are living in a “new normal.” I don’t like the saying because nothing feels “normal” and it encourages our longing for the past. I, for one, do not want to pine for the pre-corona days.  I will put my trust in God and have faith that where he leads us will be better than where we were.  

It is ok to be uncomfortable.  It is ok to not understand the world around us.  It is ok to feel overwhelmed and stressed and unsure of the next right move. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your own. My hope is that you will rely on your faith in God and trust that the next right step will be revealed to you when it should be. Until then, keep showing up as YOU. 

ACTION CHALLENGE:
What is getting in the way of your faithfulness today? Can you give it over to God?

Fruit of the Spirit Challege: Kindness

We are half way through the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  We’re curious if these weekly emails have given you food for thought? We are hopeful that they’ve been a bright spot in your week and we hope you’ll remember to join us Thursday at 8:30 for our Facebook discussion of this week’s topic.  

In case you missed it, last week we talked about patience.  We explored how difficult it is to be patient while living in a “now culture” and while facing challenging times (hello 2020 🤪).

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about KINDNESS!  

SCRIPTURE:

Proverbs 11:17 Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.


REFLECTION:

It used to be that if you didn’t have anything nice to say, you said nothing at all, or so we were told.  In 2020 it feels like no one has anything nice to say and they say it all the time.  People have become embolden, almost brazen, in their meanness.  

To be honest, the lack of kindness toward other human beings was a motivating factor in the creation of the Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  A massive shift occured this year – we went from living in our little bubbles to staring day in and day out at disease numbers, political unrest, racial tension, and inequities in healthcare and education.  Our news outlets and social media feeds are peppered with division across a broad range of critically important current events.

Everyone feels like they must take a stand, have a position, voice their opinion, speak up, be heard! At some point though, we’re all just filling the space with noise.  We aren’t listening, caring, or helping one another as we should.  We aren’t digging into our hearts for compassion; we’re laying into people with our words of division.  By participating in the negative noise, we are perpetuating it.  

Here is a perfect example.  Today I was looking at something on Facebook.  There was a negative comment on the post that I disagreed with – not the content of the words, just the fact that the person felt the need to type the negativity.  I almost clicked the angry face and asked the person a question. 

I refrained.  I chose to pray for my own patience and kindness and I kept scrolling.  Listen, it isn’t going to stop.  It isn’t going away.  People are angrier than they have ever been and sure, they have every right to be, people have every right to have their own opinion and share it.  But what gives us all the right to treat each other badly because of the difference of opinion?  What gives us the right to be out right mean?  Why do we feel compelled to explain our side, give them a piece of our mind?  SPOILER ALERT: we aren’t all supposed to be the same.  Our differences keep us open, learning, and growing.  Our differences ask us to look at the world through a different lense, explore our own beliefs, and narrow in on who we are as individuals.

The only way to get closer to kindness is to CHOOSE KINDESS amidst difference.  

Sometimes I am lucky enough to go on a date with my dad (p.s. Dad it’s been too long!) We talk for hours and I love it. I always take away more than he does because he is wise and has read more books than anyone I’ve ever met.  On one such date he shared a Stephen R. Covey quote:
 

“𝑀𝑜𝓈𝓉 𝓅𝑒𝑜𝓅𝓁𝑒 𝒹𝑜 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹;
𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓎 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓇𝑒𝓅𝓁𝓎.”

 

Keep this quote front of mind as you engage in conversations. Listening is essential to kindness. Choosing kindness in 2020 looks very much like:

  • Listening without personal motive
  • Caring for each other instead of tearing each other down
  • Being open, honest, and thoughtful
  • Respecting and accepting other people just as they are
  • Electing not to engage with negativity

The absolute beauty of it all is that what you put out into the world is what comes back to you. Keep pushing forward with kindness, keep on the path Luke recommends and kindness will surely come back to you.  


ACTION CHALLENGE:
This week I’ve removed the “social media challenge” and rather ask you to take action by walking through your week choosing kindness – hold doors, smile, LISTEN, and learn from the people in your world. Set an example of kindness and reap the rewards that only love can provide.

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

Welcome to week 4 of the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge! Two weeks back we talked about peace and how hard it is to remain at peace during times of struggle.

Remember to join us on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. on Facebook to share your thoughts and find a little inspiration, too.

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about PATIENCE!  

SCRIPTURE:

Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”


REFLECTION:

We live in a now culture.  One in which everyone wants immediate action, immediate solutions, immediate plans. We email and text people expecting an immediate response. We expect everything to happen exactly as we want. We want traffic to move out of our way, everyone to stay in their own lane, mind their own business, don’t create any problems. We expect smooth sailing, instant, easy breezy lives.  

The fact is, life is hard and challenging. Yet, it is our choice to sit in that hard place with a negative mindset, grumbling about circumstances.  It is our choice to lose our temper in a fit of road rage, over the fridge going out, the internet moving slow, or the children not behaving. Scripture teaches us that the tribulations we see in life present us with teachable moments in the art of patience – God’s endurance training, so to speak.

We all have struggles, big or small. The fact is, we don’t know other people’s struggles. We are called to show up for friends and strangers alike with patience and empathy.  Rather than grumbling over negative circumstances, ask for patience and dial into gratitude.

In Romans, Paul asks us to be “patient in tribulation”. To take action with patience is to wait in prayer.  Talk to God, dump the entirety of your troubles on Him. Lean in while showing compassion for other humans around you – the kids, the spouse, the boss, even the driver in the car next to you. Be gentle with each other as you would like God to be gentle with you.    

SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:

Tag @MaverickRx in a post inspired by patience on Facebook this week; share something with us that reminds you how much easier life is when we trust God.

Fruit of the Spirit Challenge: Peace

This evening we’re stepping into our third week with the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge. We’re hopeful that you’ve been able to take a pause with each email so far and think about how the fruits can positively impact your mindset. Last week we talked about joy and how it nurtures our relationship with God.  

Remember to join us on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. on Facebook to share your thoughts and get a little inspired, too.

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about PEACE!  

SCRIPTURE:

Luke 1: 78-79 New Living Translation (NLT)
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”


REFLECTION:

We experience times in life when we feel like God really came through for us, don’t we?  A prayer was answered, a child healed, a marriage renewed, a sunset enjoyed. Those times we fall comfortably into God’s peace and feel at ease.

Then there are the hard times when we feel as though we are very alone, lacking direction, hearing no answers, or not in control.  In those times, when we feel hopeless we have to choose to lean into God as much as possible – to seek his peace, deliberately reminding ourselves of the good work he has done and will most certainly do again.

A few weeks ago Rhonda came to my Pilates class and we were talking about the upcoming weekend. Her mind was in a whirlwind – because she had a lot on her plate in a single day: softball games, relatives visiting, packing grandparents for a move.  We talked about how it will all “work out as it should” and I encouraged her to just take one step at a time.  (Something she’s told me a gazillion times!)  Saturday came around and the games were rained out, the visiting relatives changed their plans, and all she ended up needing to work on was moving her grandparents.  

In the moments when we feel overwhelmed, Rhonda and I often remind each other of the times when things just “work out as they should”.  It rarely goes as we expect it to go, but it always goes as it should.  In hindsight it is plain to see. But in the moment, it requires deliberate choice to be at peace with not being in control.  

Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Welcome back to the 2nd installment of the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge!  We’re still so happy to be invited into your inbox and hopeful our challenge helps you consider positive mindset shifts.  Last week we talked about love and its incredible power in our lives.  

Remember to join us on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. on Facebook to share your thoughts and get a little inspired, too.

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about JOY!  

SCRIPTURE:

Romans 15:13 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”


REFLECTION:

It is wonderful when blessings seem to greet us around every corner. When things are going well, it’s easy to acknowledge all the good. Some days its feels like being on top of the world: woke up early, got a good workout, headed to work and missed the freight train, pulled into the grocery store and there was a spot right up front, kids are getting along, house stayed inexplicably clean…one of those birds are chirping, sun is shining, all is right with the world kind of days.    

Funny thing, though, when struggle comes around that same corner how quickly we only see the clouds. When hard times come to pass, and they most certainly will, staying connected with God and thanking him for the challenge helps us remain joyful.  

Choosing to remain in gratitude takes real work, but it creates a powerful mindset change. We stop focusing on the negative; we’re given a moment of clarity to look at the big picture where blessings abound. We have to be open to God’s help in our lives, and often we need to ask for direction. 

I had one of those days last week, in fact. I felt like I was up against a storm of uncertainty. I did not know what to do next and I started to panic. Alone in my kitchen, the house full of children, I started to truly panic. I said, out loud, “what do I do?” In that moment I remembered Rhonda saying sometimes when she feels awful she gets down on her knees and prays. So I did it. I went to my favorite chair, got down on my knees and unloaded my fear. I asked, “what do I do now?” The tiniest voice in my head said to me, “just make dinner, Melissa.” To that I said, “thank you.” By asking, I received peace and guidance; I was thankful and filled with hope. 

Asking for help and thanking God for challenges is the uncomfortable choice. It’s easier and more comfortable to call a friend and try to work it all out on your own. However, the uncomfortable choice often yields the best response.

SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:

This week on social media share a moment of joy in your life and tag @MaverickRx on Facebook.

Fruit of the Spirit: Love

Welcome to MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  We’re happy that you’ve decided to join us to reflect on how to better live in alignment with the nine Fruits of the Spirit.  First, we think its incredibly important to note that we are not experts in how to live in perfect Christian alignment.  We are simply trying to steer a course for ourselves and engage with you in conversation and action that nurtures connection with one another and God.  That being the case, we believe you’ll get more from the challenge if you can join us on Facebook at 8:15 Thursday mornings to talk about the weekly theme.  

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about LOVE!  

SCRIPTURE:

Leviticus 19:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”


REFLECTION:

Overwhelmed by messages of hate, anger, division, and unrest – people have become comfortable biting each others heads off, acting out in anger, and disrespecting difference.  It is easy to lash out.  

Rhonda and I lean in differing political positions.  We’ve spent several uncomfortable hours in conversation, certainly rubbing each other the wrong way at times.  We don’t yell.  We don’t call each other names.  We listen and talk.  Sometimes it is hard to listen to different view points.  

We have much more in common, of course, than we do in conflict.  We both love God.  We encourage our spiritual relationships, we connect over stories of marriage, mothering, and menopause.  Most importantly though, we’ve learned that to love a friend is to respect each other’s right to have her own opinion.

In the book of Leviticus we are asked to love our neighbors.  Even when our neighbor is of a different race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or just disagrees with us.  Leviticus 19:18 asks us to look at the world and the people within it through the lense of love – and treat them well.  It is often hard work to do.  But the action of living life through the lense of love is the most critical work of all.  

SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:

This week on social media filter your comments, posts, and images through the lense of love.  Is your participation in the social space shining positive light into the world? 

Share a message of LOVE on social media with #lovewins and tag @MaverickRx on Facebook.  If you’d like to use one of our challenge images CLICK HERE

To join the challenge today!

Mom Topic Monday: Inadequacy

Have you ever read a steamy romance novel by Nora Roberts?  I have not.  But I have read a trending tweet that quoted the best-selling novelist as saying: “The key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic and some are made of glass.  If you drop a plastic ball, it bounces, no harm done.  If you drop a glass ball, it shatters, so you have to know which balls are glass and which are plastic and prioitize catching the glass ones.”

In the constant struggle to find work/life balance Robert’s advice gives us a powerful analogy that asks us to set realistic expectations of ourselves.  The idea that we should be doing it all, all of the time in order to feel like “good moms” rubs me the wrong way. We are human and we shouldn’t expect perfection in every area and moment of our lives. There are days when everthing rolls so well – super smooth, no hiccups. Then there are days when it feels like roadblock after roadblock.

If you’ve ever felt inadequate, as if you’re dropping the glass balls in your life, tonight’s episode is a MUST WATCH.  We have certainly felt the pang of inadequacy, in fact, it’s our Mom Topic Monday tonight!     

We also share an important scripture that gives us strength when we are struggling. Grab the printable coloring page for tonight’s scripture; and, please share the mission of MaverickRx with your #momfriends by forwarding this email to a mom who could use some encouragement tonight!  

The 90/10 rule

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
― Charles Swindoll

Yesterday I was driving home, listening to the audible verison of the book Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo and she referenced this quote. I hit the clip and made a note. I do this from time to time when I come across a bit of a book that I am reading that I want to share with you.

I got home and my furnace was out and I quickly employed the 90/10 rule. We did our best all night to keep the house warm, kiddos covered in blankets, and everyone made it comfortably sleeping the night away. When I got in bed the 90/10 idea struck me again as I reflected on a homeless couple I had seen on Sunday in the city. They were bundled up together in a doorway on Washington and Clark. Two bodies snuggled under a heavy mountain of blankets.

I prayed: Thank you, Lord. I am grateful for the roof over my head.

I woke up this morning and started getting ready for work and the kiddos moving for school. I warmed up my shower and ran into the kids bathroom to grab a roll of toilet paper. When I walked in Clay said, “Mom watch this!” He exhaled so that I could see his breath. It struck me b/c that bathroom has some pipe issues; it registered and I thought oh no! I tried to turn on the bathtub. Nada. Frozen.

I grabbed a hairdryer and started to heat up the pipes. The kids ran around and dripped all of the faucets and I called The Hubs. While we were on the phone creating a plan, the pipe burst spraying me in the face and water everywhere. If you’ve ever seen a pipe burst, it really is quite comical. It sprays forcefully – all over the place with no set direction – just randomly hitting here and there, high and low, left and right. Like a lose hose on full blast, attacking you with water. I ran to the basement and turned the water off while the kids hurried around to grab towels and clean up the sopping mess. I swore A LOT and REAL LOUD because when something goes terribly wrong that is what I do. The louder the better. It is cathartic.

Then once the chaose settled, the 90/10 rule struck me again. I tell you this because maybe you’re having a shitty day. Maybe it has been a shitty week or month or year. And maybe you don’t want to employ the 90/10 rule; but, I think believe there is real value in it. Shitty times pass, and they pass faster with the right attitude. A positive attitude can make even the worst of times feel less heavy. I pray a lot (read: all day long) and try as hard as I can to stay in communication with God because he helps me to carry the load of mom worry while staying focused on our big dreams, too. And the 90/10 rule aligns with the teachings I’ve read in the Bible.

Mind you, I can appreciate feeling down. I can embrace it even. When I feel bad, I let it happen. I’m not over here smiling through shit all day, every day. When my daughter is sad, the first thing I suggest is to GET IT OUT. Cry and write it all down, scream it all out loud. But put emotions to it, put words to it and then give it over to God to carry while you address the mascara running down your face. Maybe those days are many and maybe those days are few, but either way, let them be what they are. Because it is ok to feel bad.

I just don’t recommend sitting in it for long.

I believe the 90/10 rule is true and I’m exited to read Swindoll’s book, The Grace Awakening after I finish Marie’s book, Everything is Figureoutable, which I totally recommend.

How Many Hats do Moms Wear?

Do you ever feel like you wear a million hats? We certainly do. From driver to maid to chef, moms (and dads, too!) wear a lot of hats. We often feel overwhelmed by all the jobs we have. While we are beyond grateful to be moms, sometimes it is just heavy work.

Every day we turn to our faith for strength and to stay centered; when we feel overwhelmed by the worry, the to-do list, or the laundry our faith plays a major role. Truly, I never knew worry the way I now know worry. The worry of motherhood is consuming and truly, there is no end in sight. I remember when I first had my daughter I mentioned not sleeping to my mom. She was honest and said, “yeah…. that’s gone until she leaves the house for good…not college, that’s even worse, but for good – when she’s on her own.” I was like “Wait…what?” Truly though, the weight of motherhood isn’t one that anyone shares before a person becomes a mom.

I often feel like we do a disservice to our comrades by not communicating the truth of parenting. We glorify parenthood, because it is glorious, but in so doing we fail to prepare future parents for the reality of job. Parenthood is 24/7/365 – unlike any other role. You are never off the clock, you are never without the hat of being a mother. You might be off enjoying your first girls weekend away after having a baby thinking, “Yes! I can chill!” And then you get a call that your eight month old daughter has croup and will likely need to be hospitalized. So you and your supportive friends quickly pack up the car and bust ass back home so you can be there for your kid. Because, while chilling with girlfriends is essential and so great – in your heart, as a mother, there is no better place to be than at home taking care of the kids that you created.

When all that weight and reality of our emotions connected with the jobs and hats of motherhood feels like too much – lean in. Lean into God, lean in to your husband, lean into family and friends, and lean into the role. Pray and ask for strength, and it will be given. Pray and ask for help, and it will be given. But never assume that anyone just knows you need help – even your husband or own mother – you must reach out. Don’t let yourself drown in the weight of the work and worry. If you’re wearing the driver hat too often and need a break – speak up. If you’re overwhelmed by the dishes, the yard, the cleaning, the cooking – you have to speak up for yourself and ask for help.

Leaning into God when motherhood feels heavy is legitimately the only way I ever get through any of it. He has big enough shoulders for all of your worries and strength to spare when you need it. Take a breath, step outside, and raise yourself up and ask Him for help.

You got this, mama. You. Got. This.

To hear a few verses that lift us when we struggle with the weight of parenting, watch our latest episode on YouTube! We share the ten hats we’re rotating through the most and the scripture that helps us power up for the day!

Much Love To You.

MAV

Best Devotional Books [Christian Moms]

Do you ever feel off-center, stressed out, and overwhelmed? This week Melissa & Rhonda share four daily devotional book titles with you that help them stay centered. Each day is a new adventure in motherhood, right? We get up, we hit the ground running. And some days are just STRESSFUL!

We have found the more we rely on God to carry our worries, the easier our days are. To keep that simple act in mind, we start each day with five to forty-five minutes with our daily devotional books. Some days, we only have a few minutes, while other days we can really sit down and focus on the devotional and time for our prayers. We release our worries and ask for guidance. In doing this small act, we’ve found that time and time again – it helps!

Watch our latest episode and learn the titles of the books we rely on to stay centered and let our lights shine into the world around us.

Much love,

MAV